Virginia Waters byelection candidates step forward

James McLeod
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It’s been only a few days since former premier Kathy Dunderdale resigned her seat, but things are already starting to firm up around the race to replace her.

High-profile contenders have stepped forward to say they’ll seek the nomination for the Liberals and the NDP, and another big name is musing about running for the Tories.

Premier Tom Marshall has until late April to call a byelection, but depending on how the nomination meetings go, New Democrat Sheilagh O’Leary and Liberal Cathy Bennett could be knocking on doors and looking for votes as soon as this weekend.

Ever since October, when she was neck deep in the Liberal leadership race, Bennett has been saying she plans to run for the Liberals in Virginia Waters.

Of course, back when she originally said it, it looked like the election in that district would happen in October 2015, but Bennett told The Telegram Monday she’s already gearing up for the byelection.

“The people of Virginia Waters deserve a representative that comes to the table with ideas on how to address issues, knows how to get work done and can also ask tough questions,” she said. “This is, in fact, the district I’ve been in since I was 12 years old. I’ve lived here, I’ve gone to school here, I’ve worked here, my businesses have grown up here.”

Liberal nominations close Saturday.

Meanwhile, as a former city councillor and mayoral candidate, O’Leary said she believes she’s got a lot of support for a run under the NDP banner.

She said she’s not worried about the grim poll numbers and messy caucus revolt that hurt the NDP last fall.

“Polls go back and forth constantly, and now we seem to be in a season where people are flip-flopping their ideals and such back and forth from one party to another,” she said. “The one thing that I can say is that I’ve been a longtime NDP supporter. I’m there because I believe strongly in their social policies.”

NDP nominations close Thursday.

Either Bennett or O’Leary could be challenged for the nomination, but right now there’s no obvious challenger gunning for either party’s nomination.

That just leaves the Tories, and

St. John’s Coun. Danny Breen said Monday he’s seriously thinking about it.

Breen said he has always been interested in making the jump from city hall to the Confederation Building at some point, and he’s weighing his options.

“I’m definitely interested in doing this. The question is, is this the time?” he said. “It’s not like I’m wanting to leave municipal politics. I really enjoy it. I guess if I didn’t enjoy it, that would make the decision easier.”

Twitter: TelegramJames

Organizations: NDP, Confederation Building

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Recent comments

  • Crazy
    March 06, 2014 - 06:38

    @ Glenn Stockley, Sir you sound like Ivy, Liberal can do no wrong. You better go back in time, Because its going to unfold once more in the history of the Liberal party. Sir for your information its already starts. Just ask the people of Deer Lake...And your defending the floor crossing and back stabbers. Yes sir.. liberal are their for the people...

  • Glenn Stockley
    March 05, 2014 - 19:01

    anyone but Cathy Bennett...she's not the person for this job...nothing to do with party affiliation.....anyone but the ndp in that regard.....and I've never cast a tory vote ...thank God it's not my district....

  • Scott R
    March 04, 2014 - 10:52

    Can someone help me, I'm looking for the AUTHOR of this line, that becoming famous ( ELECT ME THEN FIND OUT ) Was it Mr Ball or Mr Barry. But I think its must been the liberal, because so far they have no policy, Just blaming the PC's for everything. But not offering any solution to the problems. @ Mary, just loves that picture you giving me of poor old Danny. Crying behind close door's.. and Dwight laughing at him. Saying sucker, who crying now.

  • Not a flip-floper
    March 04, 2014 - 10:29

    Only last fall O'Leary was talking to the Liberals

    • Guy Incognito
      March 04, 2014 - 10:58

      Only awhile ago McBennett was sitting on the board of directors of nalcor and donating money to the tories....

    • Guy Incognito
      March 04, 2014 - 11:01

      Don't mistake someone looking for an opportunity with an opportunist.....big difference...

    • Randy
      March 04, 2014 - 17:12

      I see. It's only opportunism with people leave the NDP. Fine for O'Leary to conspire about running for the Liberals or for Michaels to welcome Tom Osbourne from the PCs with open arms (witch he smartly rejected)

  • John
    March 04, 2014 - 10:25

    I knew O'Leary was going to run for the NDP after losing the mayors race. One thing that irked me about O'Leary was her whining about not enough women elected to council. I would not vote for this person. And one other thing, What kind of drugs is Saelcove on with that dumb remark towards Bennett "A vote for bennett is a vote for low wages "?

  • Sadly
    March 04, 2014 - 10:19

    People are you catching on to the liberal party shenanigans yet? Back in July 2013/ they told us who our new leader would have to be for the party. Right from Judy Morrow mouth...Now they give a short notice to the people of Virginia Waters, who they think the MHA should be for that district. Given the people five days notice, for filing nominations paper. Just to keep everyone out. There something funny going on here. I guess we'll pay for its in the end. If they become to power.

  • JP Walsh
    March 04, 2014 - 08:57

    The only positive about Ms. O'Leary's candidacy is that she will again end up on the short end of the numbers. She is such a political opportunist! Hopefully this defeat will end her attempts to seize power at any turn.

    • Guy Incognito
      March 04, 2014 - 10:13

      Are you kidding? O'Leary is an opportunist? She has always been linked to the NDP and has been on city council in the past. Look at Cathy Bennett's history and past allegiances and tell me who is the real opportunist here...

  • Guy Incognito
    March 04, 2014 - 08:43

    I want to move that this district so I can NOT vote for McBennett.

  • Seriously
    March 04, 2014 - 08:36

    You Can't Be Serious, so what if O'Leary has aspirations to become leader of the NDP one day?? Cathy Bennett ran for, and failed at her bid to become Liberal leader. What is your point? Bennett was a Tory appointed Chair of the Board of NALCOR, gave more $$$ to Tories than to "her party" the Liberals, and was nowhere fighting in the trenches with the Liberal Party when they were in third place in the polls, nor was she around the party when Danny was in. YOU can't be serious.

    • You Can't Be Serious
      March 04, 2014 - 09:26

      I am NDP and will always be, but I cannot support O'Leary if she wins the NDP nomination. It's my opinion she is not good for the party.

    • saelcove
      March 04, 2014 - 10:09

      A vote for bennett is a vote for low wages

  • Gord
    March 04, 2014 - 08:13

    @ MUN Poli Sci, I have to agree with you, Neither party has a leader. Just bad judgement on our party for elections them. Just like what is going to unfold in VW district. If Cathy Bennett do become MHA. Liberal call this nominations little to fast for my liking , Because Cathy Bennett is just another turn coat

  • MUN Poli Sci
    March 04, 2014 - 07:47

    A real test of leadership for all 3 parties. NDP has Lorraine Michael who remains a divisive figure in her party. Dwight Ball leads the Liberals and has been crticised for the way he handled defections to his party. The Conservatives have only an interim leader and to date have no one filing papers to become leader and Premier. A lot on the line in this byelection.

  • You Can't Be Serious
    March 04, 2014 - 07:24

    According to the records, Ms O'Leary raised over $90,000, made appearances everywhere for months, and commented/complained about everyone and everything municipal in her bid for mayor and she still lost. Now she will be looking for more money, will be making appearances everywhere, and she will become an expert on all things relating to provincial politics. She will still lose, I hope. Who will she blame for political opportunism and hood winking her this time? The council meeting records show the day the harbour fence was approved Ms. O'Leary was too concerned with her own agenda. There was no hood winking. As for political opportunism, she is the queen of that by creating major issues where none exist. Is this to get media attention? As for running for the NDP I think it is just a case of opportunism. She is eyeing the party leadership position and this is the first step. When she announced her intentions to run, that's the day I stopped supporting the NDP.

    • Joe
      March 04, 2014 - 08:41

      Didn't you tell everyone you voted for Kathy last time? What is this hyperbole?

    • You Can't Be Serious
      March 04, 2014 - 09:18

      Joe, I think you must have me confused with someone else. This is only my second time I've made a comment in the Telegram. Yesterday was my first commenting on the RNC. I have been a loyal NDP supporter since the early 1980's. The last provincial and federal elections I was very proud to have large NDP signs in my garden. I have never voted outside the NDP.

    • You Can't Be Serious
      March 04, 2014 - 09:19

      Joe, I think you must have me confused with someone else. This is only my second time I've made a comment in the Telegram. Yesterday was my first commenting on the RNC. I have been a loyal NDP supporter since the early 1980's. The last provincial and federal elections I was very proud to have large NDP signs in my garden. I have never voted outside the NDP.

  • Mary
    March 04, 2014 - 06:43

    James, See it you can picture this, Poor old Danny D standing out in a field, with his arms pointing towards the sky, Singing out, Where are all the liberals too? When all of a sudden, Voice answer him back. Saying, Don't you mean the Zebra Party, Poor old Danny, with confusion on his face. THINKING.What have my party became too?

  • Scott R
    March 04, 2014 - 06:28

    Just because they are from the your district, that don't mean your getting the best person to represent you. Its almost like their trying to say, Now its pay back time.

  • Crazy
    March 04, 2014 - 05:26

    This is to laughable, Cathy Bennett, we all know where she stand on Muskrat Falls. She love Bill 29...She also a great supporters of outsides workers, because of the benefits that come with its, at the same time. she rather see our young people working for nothing. Cathy said people would like for some one to come to the table with ideas. Here my question to you Mrs Bennett. how would you go about hiding more of our young people at your place of business. If you had your choice between outsides workers, and our own, who would you hired first?